Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner (Acting) – North America

A festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – North America, Viki Forrest

How is the festive season celebrated in your market?
Happy Holidays! People gather with family and friends to celebrate and to share food and gifts. While the wintery holiday season is short, people travel long distances to be together and enjoy Christmas markets, fireplaces, trees, wreaths, skiiing and ice skating. People decorate their homes inside and out, and it’s popular to place trees at windows facing the street so, as you walk at night, you see Christmas trees in homes all lit up – it’s really quite magical!

What were some standout achievements for TIQ North America in 2019?
It’s been an exciting and productive year. We established offices in San Francisco and New York, and one highlight was having Minister Kate Jones open the San Francisco office.

We quickly took advantage of TIQ’s new Silicon Valley location in the global biotech epicentre to strengthen Queensland’s life sciences companies. This included working with Queensland colleagues to run the inaugural TIQ California Life Sciences Institute Advisory Program with 5 Queensland life sciences companies over 4 months in the USA. This program is still in progress but is already producing export outcomes.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
Celebrating 2 new direct flights from Brisbane to the USA – San Francisco and Chicago – and the increased opportunities this will facilitate for foreign direct investment into Queensland’s innovation ecosystem! And we look forward to continuing to position Queensland as global leader in scaling and manufacturing opportunities for synthetic biology investment.

Any new year’s message you’d like to share with Queensland exporters?
Herald in the new decade with a focus on your USA export opportunities. The USA is a massive market and focus is the essential ingredient to success. Speak to TIQ North America about how we can help you to prepare for USA market entry.